SEO Tips To Shape Up Your Site
Keep with the times and make sure your site is optimized to please the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a phrase we hear again and again when it comes to making your website stand out from the rest. We used to ask our friends for recommendations and guide customers to our websites via word of mouth, but times have definitely changed: what is important is how easy it is to find your website online. Search engines have become our best friends when we are looking for something – anything – whether locally or globally. So how do we make search engines like our website? Here are some SEO tips you can’t afford to miss:
- Choose your domain name wisely
This is a simple task yet it can be easily overlooked. Of all of the SEO tips, it is the initial building block of your website so give it some good thought. There are two ways to look at a domain name: if it is a brand you are creating then a name such as “happy.co.uk” (‘Happy’ being the brand name) is the obvious choice. However, this will require brand awareness marketing, as the word “happy” does not relate to an industry or service in specific. Nor does it make any reference to location. Therefore, if you wish to be found in online searches, perhaps a more descriptive domain name would be a better choice. For example, if your industry is gardening and your business is located in Surrey, a domain name such as “happygardeningsurrey.co.uk” would be much more powerful.
- Submit a sitemap
As far as SEO tips go, this is also relatively straightforward. Search engines send their little bots to crawl through your website, so if they don’t know exactly where they are going, they don’t fully understand your site. If on the other hand they have a road map to your site, they can overview the flow of pages to know exactly how to get from A to B.
- Answer the search queries relating to your industry
Content is king – we should all be aware of that. Of all these SEO tips, this is one of the most important and most dynamic of all. Search engine algorithms change constantly, but if your site is filled with high quality, relevant content, it still stands a good chance of being ranked favorably. Recently Google changed its algorithm to asses the question: does the content actually fulfil the search query? Great content alone is not enough any more; we are striving to answer a search query as best as we can. Content needs to be the best for particular keywords, and it needs to fulfil a given search.
- Do your keyword research
Keywords are the building blocks of any SEO strategy, so they are very close in our list of SEO tips to content as content should be created around keywords. Don’t make the mistake of coming up with a list of keywords you pull out of thin air, and then start building your website around them. There are a few factors to consider before finalizing your list. By all means start out with a list of, say, 10 keywords you feel are relevant to your industry. But you should then use a tool such as Google’s keyword planner in AdWords to investigate further. A relevant keyword with an extremely high competitiveness might not be ideal, as big brands probably dominate the first 10 positions on search results. Perhaps to start off with it is advisable to aim at relatively high search volume keywords with low competition. It is also good practise to include some tail-end keywords which are very specific search terms with low competition. Have a play with words and test them out.
- Don’t underestimate the power of local
If your business is a local one, don’t underestimate the power of using your local support. Register your business in all directories possible with an address so that your chance of coming up under local searches gets started. Also, contact local magazines and papers to write a little piece about you and your business, creating valuable backlinks to your site. Advertise yourself by placing information slips with your business details in local cafés and newsagents, reciprocating the favor for your neighbours. A local following can be very powerful to kick off some great rankings.
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